Police warn business owners of attempted extortions

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The Abbotsford Police, Surrey RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department have received reports, or heard rumours on social media and radio stations, about business owners receiving extortion threats

Surrey RCMP has become aware of extortions targeting business owners throughout the Lower Mainland and is encouraging anyone who may be a victim to call police.

“If you are a business owner in Surrey and have received any threats either directly or indirectly, we strongly encourage you to call Surrey RCMP,” says Surrey RCMP Media Relations Officer Corporal Sarbjit Sangha. “It has come to our attention that some potential victims have spoken with local media and have not made police reports. In order for police to investigate these incidents, they must be reported.”

Surrey RCMP is actively liaising with partner agencies throughout the Lower Mainland.

If you are targeted in an extortion attempt, do not engage with the suspect and do not send any money, instead contact police immediately.

Over the last week, the Abbotsford Police too has become aware of multiple businesses receiving the same letter requesting they pay money in exchange for protection from future violence. The letter cites recent reported events in Abbotsford, yet no connection has been confirmed.

“Our preliminary investigation indicates that these letters may have been sent en masse to commercial businesses. The letter is generic in nature and does not specify the business recipient or indicate a method of payment, contact, or communication.

Based on the nature of the letter, the AbbyPD wants to remind members of our community not to engage with suspect(s). In this instance, the letter targets multiple businesses in the hopes that one will engage with the suspect(s),” Cst. Art Stele
Media Relations Officer, Abbotsford Police Department.

The AbbyPD Major Crime Unit has assumed conduct of the investigation and asks any other businesses or victims who may have received this letter to contact the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.